1901 Smith Premier 4 #25690
Status: My Collection
Hunter: Vlastimil Novak (Schrei112)
Created: 03-26-2017 at 07:31AM
Last Edit: 06-08-2023 at 02:35PM
Okay. The Smith Premier typewriter which was in the last half of a century sitting in the attic. Now it is alive! I truly love how rusty it is, but still decorated with decals, complete and again in working order. This is really a piece of history. I am thinking about workers assembling a modern mechanical marvel in 1901 and me putting it on the shelf as an antique curiosity...
This machine brought me so much typewriter happiness that can be hardly put into words. I was feeling like Indiana Jones when I was leaving the seller's house with the ball of dust in a tin cover covered in another layer of dust. All the years of my typewriter collecting, there was a great desire in me for this upstrike Smith typewriter, because it is really "The grandpa typewriter", something truly different from all other machines. The problem is, that even the typewriter muggle can recognize, that this is something really weird, old, and possibly valuable when he pulls it from the attic. But I got really lucky. I paid the price of a 1930s Continental in good shape and the fella was obviously happy about how much he got for something, that was a piece of scrap metal in his eyes. I am happy, he is happy and Smith is too because now it is working.
The only real problem was a broken metal drawband, a mainspring in five or six pieces, and some frozen parts. It turns out that the biggest fragment of the mainspring can be used again and I reattached the drawband. Then just a little (really a little, because the paint is falling off) cleaning. All my machines are functional, so this must be working too. The frozen parts looked quite bad in the beginning, but after a few drops of gun oil and wisely applied force is everything working again.
"Ahoj" - the first word written on it in decades. This machine is really neat. Its serious look, it is not just a tool, it is a Typewriter, something that can turn the touch of fingers through some magic strip of cloth into words on paper. The sound is great, typing action is smooth and light. Turning the platen into the reading position is effortless. I was merely astonished by the ingenuity of this typewriter. The whole weird concept of a double keyboard looks like something clumsy to use, but now I must say, that absence of the shift key is a nice thing... Smith Premier - typewriter for lazy typers!
Ribbon is a problem. It would be nice to have a new one, but a hard thing to find without a ridiculous shipping fee. Now, I am using three regular ribbons next to each other and it is working. I know, it is a funny solution, but if red/black is used, the outcome is unique!
The adjusting wheel for the mainspring is the best and most clever design that I have ever experienced on any other machine.
The wooden pad is missing and the tin cover is relatively in good shape, even with a readable decal.
Hunter: Vlastimil Novak (Schrei112)
Status: Typewriter Hunter
If you want something, contact me: Vlastimilnovak12@gmail.com
I am a passionate amateur mechanic from the Czech Republic, and I have always mesmerized by the complexity of typewriters since my childhood. The first one (Zeta 1501) was just a toy to me in the beginning, but by every year I got older I got also better at understanding how it is working and how to disassemble it and assemble it again. The second one was Ideal DZ33 which started my love for antique machines with all the chrome and glass keys.
My machines range from mint ones through a majority of well-used machines to piles of rust that I have repaired to be typewriters again which is a lot of fun for me.
I am quite obsessed with the beauty and technical genius of standard Continentals. I love how they were producing one model of a typewriter from 1904 to the '50s with constant changes in design and my goal is to collect every decal and every major variation of them.
RESEARCH NOTE: When researching the Smith Premier 4 on a computer with lots of screen real estate, you may find that launching the Smith Premier Serial Number page and the Smith Premier 4 By Model/Year/Serial page in new browser windows can give you interesting perspectives on changes throughout the model series.